The LA would not advise withholding service charges especially as an application can be made to an FTT even in cases where a disputed service charge has been paid in full, as long as the leaseholders have not admitted that they agreed with the full amount charged. Leaseholders can also apply to an FTT in respect of service charges demanded in advance and with regard to the standard of any works that the service charge is being used to pay for. The FTT will consider the evidence that is presented by both parties before making a decision on what is reasonable.
There are only two situations in which leaseholders can legally withhold payment;
if the demand does not include the landlord’s name and address; or
if the demand is not accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations.
It should be noted that the leaseholder can only withhold service charges until the above is rectified by the landlord or manager.